OKLAHOMA CITY — Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will sit out Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of a groin injury.

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni made the announcement before the game.

The Rockets are 15-1 when Paul plays and 10-5 when he doesn’t. He averages 17.1 points, 9.0 assists and 5.4 rebounds.

Paul also missed Houston’s Dec. 22 game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He had an intense workout before Monday’s game, but it was determined he wasn’t ready to go.

D’Antoni said Paul is close to returning and he expects the star guard to play one of the upcoming back-to-back games, either Thursday at Boston or Friday at Washington.

D’Antoni said Rockets center Clint Capela will return to the starting lineup against the Thunder after missing the previous two games with a left heel contusion.


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